Trauma and Could it Be?

I am exhausted and slightly traumatized.

Nathan screams and screams during the patterning. He is becoming less effective on the incline plane, and gets mad the moment his belly touches the floor. Am I traumatizing him? Am I hurting him? My arms hurt from trying to overpower him during the patterning. My soul hurts from putting my baby through all this.

But in my heart I think this will help him. Deep in my heart I know this is what’s best for him in the long run. I can already see very slight improvements. He is eating better. He has slightly improved head control. He is moving his legs more when he is not patterning.

I can understand his pain. His body probably hurts from the unusual movements. His heart aches from knowing mommy and daddy, who previously bent over backward to do whatever he wanted, are now forcing him to do difficult things with his body. And I wish I could make it stop. But stopping now would be a much larger injustice to him in the long run.

It leads me to wondering..could it be that the fact he is so so so delayed with motor development relate to the fact that we have NEVER made Nathan spend time on his belly? He’s always hated it so much that we’ve just never forced him to do it. We believed that he was getting enough conventional therapies that tummy time wasn’t that important. Could it be the reason why his body is so unable to move?

Everything I’ve read about brain plasticity indicates that his brain should be able to compensate. I’ve been reading about a lot of kids with holoprosencephaly, CP, and other brain damage that have gained important skills and mobility. Could the difference be that these kids are made to spend more time on the floor? This is what Glen Doman claims in his book about brain injury. One of the single most important realizations he made was that the brain injured children that progressed the most were the ones that spent a lot of time on the floor on their bellies.

We are already working on floor time, we have been increasing the amount of time Nathan spends on the floor. But now I am afraid that the emotional trauma will block his ability to do anything while on the floor on his belly.

I have sought out help from the people at Reach to give us ideas about how we can help Nathan enjoy the patterning. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon.

And I wonder..when we were teaching Nathan to go to sleep..we had to let him cry a few times for him to learn that we weren’t going to “save him” when he woke up in the middle of the night. Then, I had to teach him to go to sleep on his own in the same way..he cried a few nights, then learned to fall asleep on his own. Even lately, we had to go through the same thing for him to learn to fall asleep on his own, in his crib, for his morning nap. But now he can do all three of those things, after a few days crying. Maybe we just need to do the same with floor time and patterning?

I hope to report good news during my next post.


  1. I think you are right about Nathan and his tummy time. I think that he will learn to enjoy this we had to do the same to Brandon and things with him. I am having problems with sleeping on his own he wants me to hold him all the time. I am goin to have to let him cry also. Yes it is heartbreaking but he will learn more from it all I just know it. I love you Nate please do good for mommy and daddy. I know you can do it you are strong.

  2. I am excited to see what happens with all of this. Both my kids cried themselves to sleep for a few days before they learned that bed means sleep. So that is normal. You and Owen are doing such a wonderful job, and you’re so patient with him! I believe that everything will work out and he will learn eventually, but I do agree with you in regards to your thoughts on tummy time.

    Love to you all! Give Nate a kiss from all of us. 🙂

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